I was listening to a conversation being narrated by a young lady about how her parents decided on her behalf whom she was to marry, and no consultation was done with her. I was left thinking about how certain cultural and religious teachings encourage this kind of behaviour where parents can do whatever they please with the lives of their children. I am left with a question, does honouring our parents mean we must do everything they tell us to do all the time, even if some of those things take away our God-given freedom?
To have an opinion doesn’t mean we are being disobedient, but we are merely practising what is rightfully ours, i.e., to be free. There is something about the human spirit that feels uncomfortable with a sense of “imprisonment” or lack of liberty.
This lady’s story made me think of concepts such as, “run-away slaves”, “freedom-fighters”, “liberation movement” and “human rights”, all pointing to the fact that freedom is to humanity what oxygen is to life. True to what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states as one of its fundamental pillars, i.e. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.
When this right is challenged, the human spirit will fight back. And the fight may sometimes express itself as rebellion, chaos, civil disobedience, etc. The human spirit is born free and no matter the “social chains” we place on it, it is always trying to return to a sense of freedom.
The human spirit will always seek avenues to experience freedom and when the human spirit is made free, it is able to pursue its highest calling, i.e., to be an emblem of purpose.
Pen The Vision | Bongeka Mhlongo | 2021 April
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